Monday, August 28, 2023

Flashback to Ellie, the Black Hole Bandit

Glogirly is traveling today so we thought it would be fun to relive one of Ellie's very first escapades. We hope you enjoy the flashback!  

WAFFLES:  Hello, 119? Is this 119? 

OPERATOR:  This is 911. What is your emergency?

WAFFLES:  911? Are you sure? I swear I dialed 119.

OPERATOR:  This is 911. Please state your emergency.

WAFFLES:  Emergency? Well, it's not a major emergency or anything. But Glogirly is freaking out. 

OPERATOR:  There's a girl GLOWING???

WAFFLES:  Glogirly's freaking out. Ellie is stuck in the wall.

OPERATOR:  There's a glowing girl AND a girl named Ellie stuck in a wall???

WAFFLES:  Glogirly isn't glowing. I said she's freaking out. And Ellie is a CAT. Well really more of an inexperienced kitten. And she's stuck in the wall.

OPERATOR:  How did this Ellie cat get stuck in the wall?

WAFFLES:  She climbed through the hole. 

OPERATOR:  What hole?

WAFFLES:  That's what Glogirly said!

OPERATOR:  So we're back to the glowing girl again?

WAFFLES:  Nevermind. Me and Gloman are going to rescue her.

OPERATOR:  So there's a glowing MAN too? 

Wait, WHAT???

Ellie has a new name. The Black Hole Bandit

Last weekend, Glogirly opened the door to our tiny triangular shaped storage closet we have in our master bedroom. Gloman keeps all his tripods, camera cases, and stuff in there. She wanted to grab a spotting scope and tripod to look out the window at a brush fire that had started up in our canyon just a couple of miles from our home. Firefighters were already on the scene and working to keep it contained. She and Gloman were concerned though and wanted a closer look. 

When no one was looking, Ellie slipped into the closet and started rifling around through the camera bags. 

While Gloman watched the fire, Glogirly did a quick cat check. (shaking a bag of treats throughout the house to quickly establish Waffles and Ellie's whereabouts. Waffles was Johnny-on-the-spot but Ellie was nowhere to be found. 

The last place Glogirly had seen or heard Ellie was in that tiny closet. She started moving everything out of it, looking inside camera bags, calling her name...but still no Ellie. 

The back of this closet is opposite our fireplace in the living room. And inside the closet close to the ground and in the way back is a vent that leads from the outside, through the closet, into the wall and behind the fireplace. When she got on her hands and knees, she discovered a small hole in the wall under that vent. The vent is round and the builders must have cut a square hole for it to fit through. And tiny Ellie made her way into the hole. 

A flashlight revealed a fairly large space inside the wall between the fireplace and the closet. Probably about 4' x 6'. The flashlight also revealed you-know-who. But to Ellie this was just a fun game. Glogirly and Gloman tried luring her out with everything they could think of. Her favorite wand toy, treats, her plastic bottle cap fetch toy...she'd reach out to grab them, but would quickly pull her paw back in and wouldn't come out. Glogirly could reach her hand into the hole and pet her, but it was in such an awkward position, there was no way to pull Ellie out. It was such a small hole too, Ellie must have squeezed her way into it.

Meanwhile, back to the fire watch. 

Although a few trees were still engulfed in flames, (very scary!) we'd learned the fire was successfully contained and everyone and their homes were safe, Kudos to our amazing volunteer firefighters! Glogirly and Gloman continued trying to coax Ellie out. Had any sort of evacuation been necessary, Glogirly was ready to cut a gigantic hole in the wall, jump in herself, and get Ellie out. 

Nearly two hours passed and Ellie was clearly not going to budge from her hidey-hole. 

So Gloman took the vent apart and removed a section of it to open up the hole. It had been blocking Ellie's view of the outside world and possibly causing her to be scared to jump back out. With the vent piece out of the way, she could see all of us. Especially Waffles. 

Waffles to the Rescue!

Waffles meowed and purred like crazy. It was like he was telling Ellie it was ok to come out. 

And so she did. The Black Hole Bandit was out. And her hidey-hole is now permanently blocked.

ELLIE:  But I liked my new hidey-hole.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Dinnertime Panic


WAFFLES:  It's 4:43.  Where is every buddy?

ELLIE:  What do you mean, Mr. Waffles?

WAFFLES:  We're going to STARVE. It's 4:44 and no one is home. You better get over here. We may need to coordinate an assault on the big fridge. 

ELLIE:  I'm kind of busy, Mr. Waffles. There's butterflies and stuff. 

WAFFLES:  Dinner is WAY more important than butterflies, Ellie.

ELLIE:  But there's all kinds of cool smells and bugs. It's all breezy too. Don't worry, it's not windy. I know you're scared of the wind.

WAFFLES:  That's it. It's 5:01. We're doomed. You need to take this seriously, Ellie. Enough with the windows and breezy bugs already...

ELLIE:  Mmmmm, this one smells really good.


ELLIE:  You don't have to panic, Mr. Waffles. Glogirly and Gloman went over to the vet's house for dinner. They said they'd be home soon. 

WAFFLES:  Wait. WHAT??? They went to the VET'S house??? For DINNER??? It's the end of the world.

About Today's Photos

Ellie was right. Glogirly and Gloman really did spend the evening with our vet. And her husband. And her husband's sister who is one of Glogirly's bestest ski friends. And her friend's daughter who may become our new cat sitter. And their mom. Waffles is clearly hung up on the whole vet thing though. This whole twisted friendship was never pre-approved by Waffles. 

Just wait until our new cat sitter comes over and smells like the vet!!! 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

A Mother's Love - A Daughter's Goodbye

Today's blog post is one of our favorite conversations between Waffles and Glogirly. As we say goodbye to two of Glogirly's dearest family members, it seemed so very fitting. Today's post is dedicated to Barbara and Dorothy, Glogirly's Godmother and dearest Aunt. Two women who have been like mothers to her.

WAFFLES:  So, Glogirly? 

GLOGIRLY:  Yes, Waffles?

WAFFLES:  Glogirly, are you really my mom? Because you don't really look like me. You don't even have orange fur or stripes or anything. But I really, really love you. You know, like a mom and stuff.

GLOGIRLY:  Of course I'm your mom, Waffles. I adopted you so that you'd be part of our family and we ALL could love you, take care of you, and spend our lives together. 

WAFFLES:  So even though you're not really a cat, you can still be my mom? Like forever and stuff

GLOGIRLY:  Forever and always. Forever and ever, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  And so that means you're Ellie's mom too, right? Forever and everything?


The Phone Calls You Never Want to Receive

It's been a very sad week for Glogirly. The day after she returned from her llama hiking trip, she received two phone calls. The kind of calls you know will one day come, but you hope never do. Both her Godmother Barb and her Aunt Dorothy had suddenly passed away. Two beautiful women who have shaped who Glogirly is, two women living on opposite coasts, had passed away just hours apart. 

Remembering Barbara

This is Barbara, Glogirly's Godmother and her Godfather, Paul, smiling in the background during a visit they made to see us here in our mountain house in 2018. Barb loved cats SO much. They were an important part of her life, so having an opportunity to share a conversation with Waffles was a really big deal for her.

Barb and Waffles in  Colorado, 2018.

Barb's mother and Glogirly's mother were sisters, which also makes them cousins. But Barb was much, much more to Glogirly. An only child, Glogirly grew up knowing that if anything ever happened to her mom and dad, she would go live with her Godparents. And they would love her just like Glogirly's own mom and dad. 

Barb with her Buddy Boy in late 2022

The families lived far away from each other, so the visits were infrequent but very special. Glogirly and her dad were baptized together, with Barb and Paul by their sides. Many years later, when Glogirly was in her late 30s, she and Barb had an opportunity to send some time together and instantly became very close. They talked regularly and Glogirly found many opportunities to visit them in their Bedford, Massachusetts home. 

Barb was a stage 4 breast cancer survivor. One of Glogirly's most cherished memories was helping Barb throw a No More Cancer Party nearly 15 years ago. Sadly, just a couple of years ago, her cancer returned with a vengeance and had metastasized to her brain and bones. She bravely fought her battle. Glogirly is so grateful she was able to be with her many times over these past two years. They left nothing unsaid. Barbara was like a mother to Glogirly. And Glogirly was like a daughter to Barb. Sadly, Barb lost her battle and gained her angel wings.

Remembering Dorothy

Glogirly only met her Aunt Dorothy 16 years ago when searching for her birth family. Glogirly was adopted as a baby and though like most adopted kids, always had a curiosity about who she looked like, she never really had a burning desire to find her birth mother or birth family because she loved her parents so much. They always showed her how special she was and never felt like anything was missing.

Dorothy in Monterey, California, 2017.

In 2007, Glogirly received a non-identifying background report from the adoption agency that handled her case. She'd requested it in hopes of learning about any important health information. The report she received revealed so very much more and ignited a yearning she could not ignore.
Glogirly has written about her journey in Another Mother, It's a story she shares every Mother's Day here on the blog. One of the most meaningful relationships of Glogirly's life was born out of this search and this discovery of her birthmother's older sister, Dorothy.

Dorothy welcomed Glogirly into her family with open arms and an open heart. Her positivity and joyfulness were infectious. They could take for hours and never run out of things to say. Glogirly had an opportunity to visit Dorothy frequently and they became very close. Dorothy was a mother to Glogirly. And Glogirly was the daughter Dorothy (who had 3 sons) never had.

Dorothy and Glogirly at Dorothy's 90th birthday party in Santa Maria, CA this past May, 2023.

Just three months ago, Glogirly helped Dorothy celebrate her 90th birthday. Glogirly has called Dorothy her "hero." She hopes to live her life as Dorothy has. With joy, curiosity, a sense of adventure, and never passing up an opportunity to tell those she loves how important they are to her.

Dorothy passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly from complications due to a blood clot. Glogirly and Gloman had just spoken with her two weeks before and talked of the past, present, and future. Dorothy knew how much they loved her and what an impact she'd had on their lives.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Glogirly's Trek with the Llamas

Glogirly here. Last week Ellie and Waffles teased you with a sneak peek of my upcoming hiking trek with the Llamas. I'm please to let you know that I'm safely back home with the kitties after a week in the Weminuche Wilderness in southern Colorado. The Weminuche is about 90 minutes outside of Ouray, Co. I traveled with four friends and eight llamas, It was one of the most physically challenging things I've ever done. It's one thing to take a chair lift up to 12,500+ feet at a ski area. But's entirely different to reach those heights on foot in an area few ever travel. The air is thin above tree line and it makes each step more challenging, but the views are that much sweeter when you reach them on your own two feet.

Why llamas? The llamas carried the bulk of our weight and made out trip more of a "glamping" trip. They carried the coolers with dry ice, food, tents, chairs, stove, sleeping bags...they even carried a poop tent we set up at each campsite. They're very docile creatures for the most part and enjoy traveling in packs. Sometimes we even took them on day hikes with us so we could lounge in comfy chairs at the top of the mountain with snacks and beverages. Each llama can carry about 70 pounds in the "panniers" which attach to their saddles. Though we had special treats for them, they mostly just graze on the fresh grass and drink from the streams and lakes. 

Still, this was roughing it as much as I ever have roughed it. 

We experienced every kind of weather imaginable. Hot sun, cold nights, wind, rain, and hail. Base temperatures were in the mid 60s during the day, but with the intense sun it felt much warmer. Overnight temps dipped into the very low 30s. But we had the gear to make it all very comfortable.

Here's just a small smattering of some of the photos I took along the way.

Just starting out on day one with Llamas in tow.

Houdini was one of the lead llamas. He liked to walk alongside of us as opposed to following. 

Our first campsite at about 12,000'.

One of the Highland Mary Lakes. Once we set up camp, this was home for three nights.

All eight of the llamas on one of our day hikes. Once we set up camp and slept the night, we'd keep our camp in place and take a day hike. Often with the llamas so they could eat fresh grass and also so we could bring food and chairs on the hike.

This is Cruz posing for the camera.

Higher than I've ever been on foot. Where the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail meet.